Montmartre is The place to go to in Paris for all fabric crazed people ( like me) to discover rows and rows of fabric shops of all sizes, along with several haberdasheries. The two fabric shops in the photo are ‘Marché St. Pierre – Dreyfuss’ and ‘La Reine’, the two most popular and also the biggest stores to discover in this district. Montmartre is also a very popular tourist district as it is also the location of Basilique de Sacré Coeur, a huge medieval church that sits on top of the mountain and where the views of the city of Paris is absolutely fantastic. One can combine one’s fabric shopping needs with a walk around Montmartre to take in the beautiful sights of the ancient buildings around, the cobbled streets, an ancient vineyard that still exists and is functional, the gothic beauty of the basilique itself, and just to sit on the stairs and spend time admiring the view of the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris. Please beware though, that a big menace here unfortunately is the numerous con artists, and petty thieves! Ladies, hold on tight to your bags and purses, cameras and mobiles! Another note, car parking is next to impossible here, so traveling by metro and a lot of walking is the best way to go!
The first time I walked in through the glass doors of Marché St. Pierre, I felt I was whisked into another planet. It was also the first time I discovered that I loved fabric. To see the various fabrics of so many different qualities and grades and types spun me around a little bit. I loved every moment and every time I went back to the store, I never stopped clicking away at the fabrics that would catch my fancy. The store boasts of a total area space of 2,500 meter square, covered in 6 storeys. Each storey holds fabric certain uses like for home furnishings, clothes, curtains etc. The prices at this store are quite reasonable and one can really spend a lot of time looking at all the various textiles and designs and colours available. Here are a few snaps below to give you a better idea.
The photo below is of the famous French print called Toile de Jouey, and the photo further below is of ‘torchons’ or ‘dish cloth’…. How cute looking could dish cloths get?!
While browsing through the store, I find my attention drawn not only by the fabrics but also by the shoppers themselves and the sales people. I noticed that in general the sales folk are polite and nice, but the higher up the floors you go, you notice that the sales people look smarter dressed and far more polite and refined than the ones working on the ground floor. Yes, the choice of fabrics and types are more refined and expensive as you go further up. In fact,t he top most storey is almost devoid of customers, this floor has top of the range furnishings for the house, and a team of specialised salesmen and women who will guide and advise to the kind of fabric you should buy.
The shoppers consist mostly of women, and the men are there mostly to hold their girlfriend’s shopping bags. Sometimes i find elegantly dressed men, and i suspect if they are designers, because they also seem to look like the part. I can almost bet that the women around me are sewing professionals, they have their eagle eyes on the fabrics and spend a lot of time browing through. I feel so sure thay are experts at using the sewing machine, and they know how to knit, and crochet and know every secret of stitching. How I envy them! 🙂 I also like the way they are dressed, because it almost looks like everything they are wearing is handmade, by themselves.
I hope you enjoyed the photographs. I haven’t spoken much of La Reine, as the collection I find in Marché St. Pierre to be more diverse and exhaustive, and better priced. Here are some snaps taken at the ‘mercerie’ or haberdashery that also belongs to Marché St. Pierre – Dreyfuss.